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Ekphrastic Poetry Contest 2013

Steven Kapela

2nd Place

No One Likes To Smile in Pictures Anymore

As the lights in his dark pupils beam back at me
Like sister ships searching for solace off the sea,
The smile softens from hard teeth like craggy rocks
To a spill of little amethysts revealing a dock beyond
The swell of personality, temper, and disposition. Conned
Into posing, his wrinkles unfold. The starred door unlocks.
Without the lights to distract him, I never would’ve seen
Such drifting complacency, or the ways his lips curl between
The chiseled coves of his nose and chin or the sharp turn
His ears make. Grinning in pictures is such an unnatural chore.
I shouldn’t force him to appear happy. I should be concerned
With how the soul alights since no one likes to smile anymore.